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'Ghostbusters' is only shadow of original
Whats in with Justin
Even the special effects had reviewer Justin Hall questioning why the remake of Ghostbusters was made. - photo by Studio photo

With all the hype surrounding it, both positive and negative, the female reboot of "Ghostbusters" now hits theaters and the only question is this: Epic disaster or honorable homage?

Well, it’s a far cry from the former and not nearly in the league of the latter. Fans of the 1984 classic have nothing to worry about and this generation will probably end up choosing that one anyway.

The movie does follow the formula of the original: Four paranormal scientists lose their university jobs and go into the business of investigating and eliminating supernatural activity. Melissa McCarthy pretty much handles the Harold Ramis role. Kristen Wiig is the female Bill Murray, more or less. Kate McKinnon is an incredibly annoying version of Dan Aykroyd. And Leslie Jones is the female Ernie Hudson.

These four ladies go around New York chasing after ghosts and a lot of the time, the special effects are pretty cheesy and unconvincing. There have been great advances since 1984, but the filmmakers seem not to care as we’re treated to literally lifeless creations without any kind of wit or personality. Not to mention the main villain, an occultist working as a janitor (Neil Casey) determined to bring about the apocalypse, is all one-note. His actions are presented with zero context or motivation.

Perhaps the most irritating aspect of this reboot is the casting of Chris Hemsworth as the Ghostbusters’ new secretary. The character is so completely inept, he doesn’t even know when the phone is ringing off the hook. His humor throughout the movie is supposed to be so dumb it’s funny, but it just comes off as cringe-worthy.

I admire the talent involved, but the movie left me feeling indifferent throughout. It never got me laughing, other than a couple of moments, and there was no real reason to update the material. The 1984 movie was and is a classic. There’s a reason why some films are called that, and the best thing to do is leave them alone. Also, there are some cameos from the original cast, and none of them are memorable or funny in the slightest.

I’m giving this movie a negative review, and yet I don’t think it’s a complete waste of time. It’s just a sadly misguided film. It’s not the worst of the summer, but it may go down as the biggest disappointment. This time, don’t answer the call.

Grade: C

Rated PG-13 for supernatural action and some crude humor.

Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.

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